More than panels on a roof

One, two, three, four! One by one, Wells Fargo employee volunteers cheered on four elated homeowners as they flipped the switches on their solar systems this afternoon, after what will go down in GRID history as a landmark day -- the official launch of our Colorado project, a day when we celebrated with the volunteers, homeowners, sponsors, public officials and partners that have helped us make it happen.

“This is about so much more than a house,” said Heather Lafferty, Executive Director of Habitat of Humanity of Metro Denver, speaking before the crowd during lunch. “This is about so much more than a roof and walls, and even solar. This is about community.”

It is about Juan and Norma Ibarra, homeowners who rolled burritos for the volunteers and guests in between trips up to the roof to help out. It is about Fatimah, just eight years old when her family finished building their Habitat home, who spoke movingly about what having an affordable home means to her, her family and her community. It is about 30 Wells Fargo employees who took the day off work to help others. It is about a group of veterans who are learning a new trade as they embark on civilian careers. And it is about all the people who are going to walk away from this week with a passion for solar energy and its power to improve people’s lives.

“You are now ambassadors for solar,” said Ron Binz, former head of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission and renewable energy advocate, addressing the families. “You will be telling your neighbors, your friends, and colleagues, ‘this is not some weird technology. This is a solar panel on my roof that is powering my mixer.”

We are so proud to be powering not just mixers this week in Colorado, but also communities like this one.